The top 8 arguments about Scottish food and drink

Scots love a good argument almost as much as we love food and drink so it's inevitable that these two passions will meet.

Published 12th Nov 2018
Updated 6 th Oct 2023

These debates can often come down to the part of the country you are from, what your family taught you, or are simply just down to personal preference.

Here are 8 of our favourite arguments about Scottish food and drink.

What goes in Stovies?

arguments about Scottish food and drink
Stovies with beetroot and oatcakes. Picture: Flickr/noii's

This one is always hotly debated in our office and we've put up no less than two different recipes on the site and still people aren't happy with our choice of ingredients for this Scottish staple.

Traditionally a wonderful dish for using up leftovers; some people add mince, others add lamb, while some even add square sausage (or should that be slice - we'll save this argument for later). We even had arguments in favour of corned beef - which we are not cool with.

What do you put in your stovies? Other than potato and onions of course - at least we can all agree on that.

Slice vs Lorne vs Square Slice vs Square sausage?

Picture: Scotland, where it’s SLICE, NOT!! Sausage, Lorne, round or square, IT’S SLICE Facebook

Accurately summed up in a tongue-in-cheek Facebook page called “Scotland, where it’s SLICE, NOT!! Sausage, Lorne, round or square, IT’S SLICE”, where there's a bit of an argument over what people call square sausage\Lorne sausage\square slice [delete where applicable], this argument mainly comes down to what part of the country you hail from.

We carried a poll in our original post about this debate and it seems like square sausage wins the day.

[poll id="4"]

• READ MORE: A history of the square sausage, including a recipe for making your own

Irn-Bru: old vs new recipe

Picture: SM

Ok, so even we'll hold our hands up for this one, there probably won't be an argument on this because it's almost universally agreed that the old stuff needs to come back, but we're pretty sure there's maybe one or two Scots who prefer the new stuff. We just haven't met them yet.

Salt & Sauce vs Salt & Vinegar

Picture: CC / Flickr / KathrynMcGrane

South east coast vs the rest of the country basically. If you're from Edinburgh and the surrounding towns you'll choose chippie sauce. If you're from everywhere else you'll probably choose salt and vinegar.

New Scottish restaurants added to the Good Food Guide

What do you call this?

Picture: Merchant Chippie

Roll and chips, chip roll or *shudders* chip butty, whatever you call it this post by the Merchant Chippie definitely sums up the strong feelings around the nomenclature for this Scottish favourite.

Plain or Pan Bread

Picture: Mutt Lunker/Wikimedia

The answer to this one should always be plain but sadly not enough young Scots are enjoying brands like Mother's Pride these days. We'd quite like it if some could make it instagrammable so this traditional loaf could start being used again more.

Should you add water to whisky?

Picture: MaxPixel

The correct answer to this one is quite simple. Taste it neat first, then if you think it needs water (is it too oily, too alcohol heavy) then by all means add a little water, if not then enjoy it neat.

In fact, let's strip that further back, just drink it however you enjoy it and don't be put off by someone else's rules.

Should porridge be sweet or salty?


This one is about personal taste more than anything else but traditionalists will always say salty.

Michelin Guide 2023: new Scottish restaurants that made the UK list

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
Copyright ©2023 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram